Special Note: 

During the COVID-19 epidemic, we know that increased stress in the home can bring wear and tear on our families and relationships. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men in the United States have experienced violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime— and the risks to victims are severe. Whenever there is violence in the home this can create additional negative mental as well as physical health issues. At His Heart Foundation, we encourage you to reach out for help if your home is not a safe place by calling 911 and if you are in Clark County Washington area you can visit the Domestic Violence Unit online at https://www.cityofvancouver.us/police/page/domestic-violence-unit

9 Rules for Fair Fighting

In today’s post Counselor, Dan Bates gives couples some great rules for fair fighting. None of us are immune from disagreement and misunderstanding in our relationships, but these tools can help us to build a strong foundation for intimacy and safe communication. 

1. No Shot Gunning: Shot Gunning is when you throw several objections, complaints or grievances at the other person, all at once. This simply is too much to respond to and isn’t fair. Pick one thing to talk about.

2. Cheap Shots: This is when you address a problem or give feedback to another person laced with critiques, personal attacks, and button-pushing. It’s not fair to mock and deride someone while trying to address a serious issue. It knocks them back off their feet and doesn’t lead to a positive resolution.

3. Changing the Subject: When you bring up one issue, and then in the middle of the conversation, you change the subject because you don’t want to take responsibility, or you want to throw the other person off. Either way, changing the subject is frustrating and dilutes the focus of the conversation.

4. Open Personal Attacks: If you are engaging in a conversation strictly for the purpose of inflicting hurt on the other person because you feel hurt, the conversation won’t end well. Maintain respect. Act in the way you wish to be treated.

5. Bringing Up Past Mistakes: If you bring up an issue, problem, example, or hurt that is from the past, that bears no relevance to the conversation, then don’t bring it up. You are likely bringing it up to throw that in the other person’s face. Doing so is unproductive, unnecessarily sours the conversation, and baits the other person into “tit for tat” mudslinging.


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6. The Blame Game: Blaming the other person for your feelings is unfair. Or, blaming the other person for a shared problem. Take credit for your part in the problem. When needed, take personal responsibility and ownership. If you can’t do that, then the conversation is pointless.

7. Take Turns Talking: If you do not like being interrupted, then do not interrupt the other person. Listen to what the other person has to say, even if you disagree. When they are finished, then you can talk.

8. Have the Right Intentions: The why behind the conversation determines how the conversation goes. If you enter the conversation simply to win points, inflict as much damage as possible, prove that you are right, or prove that they are wrong, you are in the conversation for the wrong reasons. If you enter the conversation for mutual understanding, even if you don’t fully agree at the end of the conversation, respect will be maintained, and that is a success in itself.

9. Be Charitable: If your conversation partner misspoke, stated something the wrong way, but meant something else, or is unclear, give them the benefit of the doubt that they mean well. Listen to them charitably. Respond to them graciously. Maintain respect, even if you don’t feel respected.

Challenge: Read this post with your partner when you aren’t in a fight. Talk about what you struggle with and commit to work on changing your patterns. Pray together! It will help you grow in your intimacy, trust, and commitment to one another.


“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” Matthew 7:24 (ESV)

Next Steps:

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